What do you mean you didn’t see this post last night at 9:30? It was here! You need a new pair of glasses, I think… OK, OK. You’re right, I didn’t post this last night. See, I had a headache so around 8:30 I took something, lay down for just a few moments while it went to work and… woke up this morning at 6:00. So there you go.

Good thing, too. I don’t think I could have handled the excitement. Yep, that’s right, winners. Both Paul Freeman, @PolFreeman and R.C. Murphy, @RCMurphy took the crown this week. (Don’t you hear them squabbling over it?)

Yet again the entries have been too excellent for only one to triumph. I heartily agree with all of you, they were both too good to pick from among. That why I cheated and voted for both. KIDDING. I can’t cheat. Well, I suppose I could. But the thing records my IP like everyone else’s and gives me no preferential treatment. (I’ve tried.) 😉

So here they are, the winning entries. Enjoy these with some turkey and a huge slice of pie.

Congratulations you two. See you next week!

Paul Freeman, @PaulFreeman12

Bjarni Olafson stood with his back to the burning building, wind and snow lashed his face as the blizzard grew in strength. He watched the expression on the man’s face in front of him, as it changed from shock to horror and then outrage. Dark smoke from the flaming thatch hung in the air. With a grunt, Bjarni hauled his sword out with both hands gripping the leather covered hilt, the blade rasped free of its sheath.

He watched the other mans eyes dart about the scene, taking in the three youths lying face down in the thick carpet of snow. Two boys and one girl, their throats slit, then to the woman, lying with her skirts hitched up over her hips, exposing white legs and fleshy buttocks. His eyes widened when he saw the tiny form of a babe lying at the foot of a tree, a bloody trail of pulp and bone leading from the trunk.

“Your woman squealed your name when I humped her, Lars,” Bjarni taunted. With a roar the man charged, even though he was weaponless. It was easy work for Bjarni, he swept the sword up in a wide arc, and with a spray of blood and hair flying the other man’s head flew through the air. Bjarni spat once on the decapitated husk.

He was not proud of the evil work he had done this day, nor was he ashamed. Ten years previously Lars Henrikson had led a band of hard men into Bjarni’s village. Under cover of darkness they crept into the settlement and locked the doors of the feasting hall before setting it alight. Anybody who tried to escape by breaking down the walls or cutting through the thatch were shot at with arrows or hacked with great Dane axes. Everybody inside had died. Bjarni had not been there that night, he had returned the following day to find his home a blackened, charred mess and all his family dead.

It had taken him ten years to hunt them all down. Now the ghosts of the dead could rest in peace.

R.C. Murphy, @RCMurphy

“There’s white crap everywhere.”

Alex rubbed her forehead, wishing the persistent headache she’d come to call Titivillus would stop throbbing long enough for her to form a coherent thought. “You’re so observant.”

“Then allow me to make another observation: we aren’t going anywhere.” He leaned into the window, hot breath fogging the glass as he exhaled.

Her teeth came together and ground, a habit she’d formed since his arrival. By the time he vanished back to Hell, or wherever demons called home, she would need dentures. And one hell of a psychologist.

“The wheels are stuck.” Alex slammed her hand against the steering wheel and stared out the windshield.

All around them there was nothing but white, like someone upended a huge bucket of paint on the landscape before their arrival. The storm she’d seen on the news came a day early, carried on the back of the wind shaking the small rental car. Why did she think showing the demon the snow was a good idea? They could have easily stayed home and watched Christmas movies. At least at home she wasn’t in danger of frostbite making one of her nipples fall off.

“How are we-”

“I don’t fucking know, Titivillus!” She turned and glared at the menace. “Can’t you just poof us out of here?”

Titivillus gave her a strange look and shook his head. “I can’t transport you unless absolutely necessary. When you start to freeze to death, then I can move us.”

Alex rubbed her forehead again. By the time a tow truck crawled up the mountain pass, that may very well happen. “Shit. Hand me the phone.”

What was the point of having a demon around if he was forbidden from doing something to actually help her?